A Chelsea man will spend at least 17 years in state prison for attacks on four women who were working as prostitutes during the fall of 2010.
Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said today that the sentence of 17 to nearly 20 years imposed by Judge Judith Fabricant was shorter than the 24-year term recommended by prosecutors, but ensures that Jose Castillo, 37, will serve a lengthy state prison term for two rapes and two additional attempts in September and October 2010.
“This serial predator targeted victims he thought no one would care about,” Conley said. “He targeted women he thought no one would believe. He was wrong. The Chelsea detectives and Suffolk prosecutors who built this case went to incredible lengths to find justice on their behalf. No matter who they are, no matter what their circumstances may be, we’ll fight for anyone who’s been violated the way these victims were.”
After seven days of testimony a Suffolk Superior Court jury found Castillo guilty of:
- Aggravated rape and assault with a dangerous weapon for picking up a woman on Sept. 16, 2010, bringing her to an area near the Chelsea Soldier’s Home, and assaulting her at knifepoint;
- Assault with intent to rape and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon for picking up another woman on Sept. 22, 2010, bringing her to the area of Maple and Heard streets, and pulling out a knife with the intention of assaulting her, leading to a struggle in which she suffered a laceration before fleeing;
- Rape for picking up another woman on Oct. 10, 2010, bringing her to the area of the Chelsea Soldier’s Home, and assaulting her; and
- Assault with intent to rape and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon for picking up another woman on Oct. 26, 2010, bringing her to the area of the Chelsea Soldier’s Home, and attempting to assault her at knifepoint, leading to a struggle in which she was able to escape.
All four victims reported the attacks to Chelsea Police; the two who were raped also had rape kits performed at area hospitals. Those rape kits led to the recovery of DNA evidence that would prove to be a match with Castillo. Castillo was acquitted of a fifth attack involving a victim who reported the incident – which took place shortly after the Sept. 22 victim escaped – but did not have a rape kit performed.
Castillo was identified in March 2011, when one of the victims spotted Castillo in a vehicle on Broadway. She noted its license plate number and gave it to a Chelsea Police officer whom she flagged down. Chelsea Police ran the plate, identified the car’s registered owner as Castillo, and located the defendant. In an identification procedure, the victim positively identified Castillo as the assailant; in subsequent procedures, the victims from Sept. 22 selected his photo from separate arrays.
After testifying to the Suffolk County Grand Jury but before trial, the victim in the Oct. 10 attack died. Her sister told the court of “a feeling of relief because justice has been served for my sister … The decisions she made weren’t always right, but ‘No’ means ‘No.’”
“This was an outstanding investigation and prosecution, with the very best efforts of all involved,” Conley said. “But make no mistake: we would never have gotten this result if not for the victims and their strength in stepping forward, taking the stand, and identifying him despite the fear they may have felt. These women and their courage are the reason Chelsea’s streets are safer for everyone tonight.”